The Great Sphinx of Giza Egypt is a short distance from the famous pyramids and one of the biggest attractions of the area. Facing directly east, some experts believe the Sphinx was built as the guardian of the main temple and surrounding pyramids. This area is not far from Cairo and its many hotels and hostels .
The massive statue depicts a creature with the body of a lion topped with the head of a man (most likely intended to portray the king). It is roughly 240 feet long by 65 feet high, and carved entirely of limestone. The original moniker given to the Sphinx in Giza Egypt is unknown, but in ancient writings it is referred to as Ra of Two Horizons (Ra-horakhty) and also Horus in the Horizon (Hor-em-akht).
The Sphinx, possibly carved by a prominent pharaoh named Khafre, one of the kings of the pyramids, was created of limestone in about 2529 BC . Some believe Khafre created the Sphinx while others profess it was his father, the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza . The building of the statue has forever stumped researchers as to how the immense stones, thought to be about 200 tons each, were moved to the temple site on the Giza Plateau. It is known as one of the largest statues in the world, and was built without the use of cement or mortar to fasten the massive stones together. Many liken the method of building to the way the ancient Incas of Peru constructed Machu Picchu. Others think the limestone mass was already there and the statue carved directly out of it by removing massive pieces around it.
The Great Sphinx remains such an incredible attraction partly because, after all these years, it is still shrouded in mystery, creating a special intrigue for visitors. Where some ancient monuments and other creations have been deciphered either completely or at least to some degree, the Sphinx in Giza has not. The chambers underneath the Sphinx likely offer the biggest clues to many unanswered questions yet they are completely off limits—restrictions set by the government. Without excavation followed by exploration, no one may ever know whether the chambers hold the answers to questions such as the statue’s true origins and purpose among other ancient facts.
The location of the Sphinx is near the Sahara Desert along the west banks of the famous Nile River near Cairo. It was buried in sand up to its chin until the early twentieth century, when it was entirely uncovered. The nose of the Sphinx in Giza Egypt is mostly missing with several theories surrounding its disappearance (although most don’t offer a valid explanation because of the time periods surrounding them). The elements have weathered the body of the famous monument for thousands of years now and surprisingly, though it is located near the Sahara Desert, the structure has also suffered some water damage.
The Sphinx in Giza was restored once in 1400 BC and has been restored in more recent years by the Egyptian government. Through extensive research it has been discovered that the paws of the Great Sphinx have been repaired three separate times, each time replacing a previous repair with the exception of the first. Yet it is also evident that the paws have experienced heavy erosion but the cause has never been identified and remains one of the many mysteries of Egypt’s illustrious Sphinx.